Another match day, another Liverpool nail biter. On Saturday it was Luis Suarez that scored to earn Liverpool a point but this time, it was his strike partner, Andy Carroll who grabs the headlines with a header in the last-minute of the normal time to snatch a win that seemed unlikely when stand-in keeper Doni was sent off after just 25 minutes. Liverpool were forced to play with ten for 65 minutes of the game and had Jordan Henderson at right back for the rest of the game. Third choice keeper Brad Jones made himself an instant hero as he saved Yakubu’s weak penalty attempt.
Going back to Carroll it was only his second headed goal for Liverpool FC in the Premier League and his first in a year as his last headed goal in the Premier League came on the 11th April 2011 (a shouldered goal against Manchester City which went down as a header in the Opta Stats). An astonishing statistic really, the follow statistic was tweeted by @EPLIndex yesterday:
So Andy is getting a decent amount on target but just not finding the net with them. Hopefully he won’t have to wait another year for his next headed goal for Liverpool. A powerful headed goal at Wembley would do just nicely!
Maxi Rodriguez was the other notable player and he shone in the first 25 minutes when the sides were playing 11 v 11. It would be difficult to carry on in that vein when you’re a man down as a lot tracking back and defensive duties had to be done. However Maxi was at his usual accurate best, with a 90% pass accuracy (27/30 passes) and 100% shot accuracy and chance conversion there was little to argue about when it comes to the Argentinian. Maxi usually plays with his back to goal which explains why he only passed the ball forward with 17% of his passes yesterday and the majority went backwards (37%). The fact that he keeps the ball is actually a positive – sometimes you need a player that will keep things simple and Maxi does this. However his running of the ball is the key and Maxi seems to have the ability get himself into the right place at the right time – something Liverpool have sorely missed this season.
Here are some of Maxi’s stats since Kenny Dalglish’s arrival:
As you can see from the stats, Maxi has been really impressive since Kenny Dalglish arrived at the club. His playing time last term was excellent with him playing the majority of games. His goalscoring was phenomenal last season but he’s eclipsed that this season with an average of 120 minutes per goal.
This is by far the best in the squad. Maxi is averaging less shots than last year but he’s not played any where near the amount that he did last season.
His shooting accuracy this season is way up and so is his chance conversion. Both of these are the best in the side by far for any player that has taken more than 5 shots this season (Coates has one shot – one goal). You can find Liverpool squad shooting stats on page two of this article (you can find page numbers at the top right or bottom right of this page).
There isn’t much to say about the goal-keepers really. Doni deserved to be sent off and Brad Jones may have been fortunate to stay on the pitch. Brad Jones made a comfortable save but looked uncomfortable for the penalty he gave away but this is going to be normal for a keeper that has gone through what Brad has over the last 18 months.
A quick word for Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shevley who worked tirelessly against Blackburn and deserve some plaudits. Both of them attempted eleven ground duels each to keep Blackburn at bay and although Henderson may not have won many of them it his his joint highest amount this season and way higher than the amount that he’s managed in the last few months.
As you can see from the stats (above and below) both players managed their highest amounts of ground duels and tackles combined from any game since Liverpool have had their poorest run of form and both players should be commended for their efforts yesterday. It was encouraging to see that both were still full of energy and going forward to try and produce something for Liverpool.
In the end all that matters is that Liverpool won 3-2 after being pulled back to 2-2. They could have easily dropped their heads after going down to ten men and then being plugged back but they managed to win.
Something to end with: Daniel Agger has had a hand in earning Liverpool four points with just two substitute appearances. Against Aston Villa it was his header that hit the bar and allowed Luis Suarez to snatch a goal and yesterday it was his header that assisted Andy Carroll’s winner too. Not only that – in his two cameo appearances since returning from injury he has won every single tackle or duel he’s attempted. Liverpool have missed him and how.
Next Page: Liverpool Squad Shooting Stats (N.B. No analysis – just stats)
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) See Demo’s and videos about the Stats Centre & read about new additions to the stats centre.